What is a Contusion and How is a Contusion Different than a Concussion?
As stated above, a brain contusion is a bruise that forms on the brain. Brain contusions may be mild and heal on their own, or they may be a life-threatening emergency and potentially fatal. Brain contusions are focal injuries, unlike concussions, which are widespread injuries. However, it is possible for a head injury victim to be unlucky enough to have a contusion and a concussion at the same time. Contusions are frequently associated with edema (swelling), and may cause a rise in intracranial pressure, which may cause further brain damage.
Diagnosing Cerebral Contusions
About 20-30% of serious brain injuries involve a cerebral contusion. Contusions occur most often in the cortical tissue, near the sharp ridges on the inside of the skull, including under the frontal and temporal lobes. Most of the time, doctors use computed tomographic (CT) scans to identify a brain contusion. A CT is preferred over a magnetic resonance (MR) scan because fresh hemorrhages are easier to see. On a CT scan, fresh bleeding will appear white, while normal brain tissue will appear gray.
Causes of Cerebral Contusions
Bruising to the brain tissue can be caused by a direct blow to the head (for example, a falling object striking the head), or from an acceleration-deceleration or coup-contrecoup injuries. With an acceleration-deceleration injury, the brain is thrust forward and hits one side of the skull and then rebounds or decelerates and strikes the opposite side of the skull. If the brain comes in contact with the bony prominences inside the skull, like the sphenoidal ridges, intracranial bleeding or hemorrhaging may occur. Even if you initially feel fine after a head injury, your condition could rapidly deteriorate hours later with brain swelling and an increase in intracranial pressure (ICP).
Symptoms of a Brain Contusion
The symptoms of a brain contusion will vary greatly, depending on the severity of the injury and where it occurred. Loss of consciousness following the injury may or may not occur, and not losing consciousness does not mean a serious injury did not occur. Symptoms may include loss of memory, difficulty paying attention, irritability or emotional disturbance, numbness, and loss of the ability to comprehend or express speech. If you suspect you or someone close to you may have had a brain contusion, seek medical attention immediately.
Compensation For Your Injuries: Cerebral Contusion Lawsuits and Settlements
Contusions, like all traumatic brain injuries, can cause permanent brain damage and lifelong disability, and the cost of caring for a brain-injured victim may be financially devastating. As with all traumatic brain injuries, if a negligent person or party caused or contributed to your injuries, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. The costs of caring for a traumatic brain injury victim may be substantial. Monetary recovery from a traumatic brain injury lawsuit may include financial compensation for medical care costs, lost earnings due to the accident, pain and suffering and other injury-related expenses. If you or a member of your family has suffered a brain contusion, contact an experienced traumatic brain injury for an evaluation of your potential claim.
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